Happy National Poetry Month!

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 5.27.26 PMHi all,

Happy National Poetry Month!

The Akron Poetry Prize opens up for manuscript submissions on April 15! Mary Biddinger & I read over 600 manuscripts last year. Make us read 1,000 this year Diane Seuss is the final judge! The winning poet receives $1,500 and publication of his, her, or their book.

You can submit your work here.

This month, I’ll be having a release party for DIARY OF A FILTHY WOMAN. Check out the event here. Fellow NEOMFA friends Bronte Billings, Sony Ton-Aime, and Bonné de Blas will be reading alongside me.

Bonné and I will also be heading to Case Western University to read at the HEARING THE SILENCE event (flyer attached) on Friday, April 6. We’re both super excited!

Hope everyone has a great National Poetry Month!

#AWP18

29104174_10211851542467426_5137896030020493710_n#AWP18 was so much fun! Thanks to everyone who made the magic happen through panels & readings & great books & friendship! I was really happy to be able to buy excellent books, as well as sell some new titles for The University of Akron Press!

I’m excited to read the books I bought. Check out the photos below of my AWP adventures.

A few people asked me if I had DIARY OF A FILTHY WOMAN to sell. I didn’t have copies, but you can pre-order it here by selecting mine from the drop-down menu.

See you next year in Portland! 🙂

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Pre-order Link for Diary of a Filthy Woman

28279979_10211767304041518_3391316874062631272_nHi friends,

Happy AWP week! I’m so excited to be in Tampa in a few days. You can come say hi to me at The University of Akron Press, table T504, where I’ll be selling our FOUR new poetry titles! You can check them out here.

Aside from this, you can now pre-order Diary of a Filthy Woman by clicking here and selecting my micro-chap from the dropdown menu 🙂 Big thanks to Nicci Mechler for giving these poems home, and to Mary Biddinger, George Abraham, and Leila Chatti for blurbing it! You can read (or hear me read) one of the poems from the chapbook over at the new Ohio issue of Glass Poetry.

See you in a few days!

~ Noor

 

Cover and blurbs are in!

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Hey friends!

The blurbs for Diary of a Filthy Woman, forthcoming from Porkbelly Press, are in! It’s been an exciting week finalizing the cover and receiving the blurbs for my micro-chapbook. This is real now! Is this real? [Internally screaming!]

Big thanks to Mary Biddinger, George Abraham, and Leila Chatti for spending some time with the poems and writing the kindest words. And to Cleveland based artist Tanya Gonzalez for designing the cover.

Check out the blurbs below:

“I know freedom as the heavy//hum of the air whipping/past my ears.” So begins this provocative, fiery collection of poems by Noor Hindi. For Filthy Woman, freedom is a heaviness and a rush, laden with the thrill of desire, the threat of shame, and the potential for self-invention through language. These poems snarl and buck; they dare you to look. – Leila Chatti

The world is a mess. Clearly we need a new heroine. Not Moll Flanders or even Lady Lazarus, but the remarkable protagonist of Noor Hindi’s Diary of a Filthy Woman. This is no coy literary adventurer of yesteryear, but a harrowing voice of wisdom, resistance, and vulnerability. The heroine we need, the one who urges us to embrace our ragged edges, speaks to empower those on the margins and in the crosshairs. “I stuff sunflowers into my mouth hoping / to be as delicate as their petals // rather than the hazardous waste that I am,” begins “Filthy Woman Just Wants to Be Beautiful.” And yet it’s the act of consumption that becomes the ultimate vehicle for beauty in this collection, steeped in Ohio landscape and roiling with tensions of identity and desire. With Diary of a Filthy Woman Hindi has distinguished herself among emerging poets, creating a vibrant persona with the power to “make a bonfire out of want.” – Mary Biddinger

In Diary of a Filthy Woman, the body is holy in existence & contradiction: in want, in prayer, in the filth it’s assigned & the filth it transcends. Here, internalized shame is dissected, conquered, and reclaimed; here, Hindi confronts the conversations we run from. Palestinians & Arabs need Hindi’s voice. As the West silences & rewrites Palestinian narratives, Hindi’s chapbook screams loudly to take back this stolen space. Hindi writes, “I am a filthy Immigrant//I take your jobs/ beware the way// I sink my knees/ into a dusty prayer// rug and wish you a happy Ramadan.” To call these poems “timely” is to reduce them to their interaction with a world that wants us dead, when in truth, Noor Hindi is a voice we have always needed. This chapbook is not small or tiny; this work is so much bigger than all of us can even imagine. – George Abraham, author of the specimen’s apology (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019)

Aside from all of this madness, Spring 2018 is underway at the NEOMFA. I’ve been spending some time with Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, the new issue of Bennington Review, and POETRY magazine. Lately, I’m looking forward to AWP and helping The University of Akron Press at table T504. Come visit us. We’ll have beautiful buttons and FOUR new poetry collections by Emilia Phillips, Anne Barngrover, Anne Barngrover, and Emily Rosko!

I’ll also be seeing CAConrad at Cleveland State University on Thursday, which I’m hoping will jumpstart my creativity again. I’ve been slow moving when it comes to writing poems lately, and generally feeling uninspired.

Anyway, see y’all at AWP in three weeks. It’s going to be a blast.

I Survived the First Semester of my MFA

drtmntbvoaelbalHey there! Guess what? I’m alive. I haven’t updated my blog for over a month, and for a while there I wasn’t sure that the semester would ever end! But winter break is finally here, which means lots of snow and reading and journaling and (hopefully) sending poems out. For the past week, I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on the first semester of my MFA in poetry. This past fall, I took a workshop class, a Poetry of the Body class, and a practicum class (for teaching English Composition).

Here’s a list of stuff I learned this semester:

  • Teaching is terrifying and fun and heartbreaking and shitty and also oddly rewarding? I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. In a lot of ways, I wish someone would have told me that so much of teaching is about failure. There were a lot of days I didn’t feel prepared or remotely qualified. So much of my teaching process this semester was trial and error. I had to be okay with not doing everything perfectly. My students were patient when I stumbled. I tried to be patient when they stumbled. I learned that I couldn’t be everything to everyone. My people pleasing habits flew out the window within the first month because trying to get all of my students to like me was a battle I wasn’t going to win. There were teaching days that felt like a dumpster fire, but then there were days where I loved teaching and my students were really getting it and I felt like I was making a difference. Those days made everything worth it.
  • Because I hadn’t taken a workshop class in over a year, I must have forgotten how weird workshopping poems is. You sit in complete silence while everyone talks about you like you’re not in the room. Wtf, lol? While workshopping my poems, I spent the majority of the time a nervous and sweaty mess. Also, everything is funny when I’m nervous, so I kept trying not to break out in laughter in the middle of us discussing a poem I’d written about death. I’m not sure at what point workshopping will become easier, but I hope that comes soon.
  • Grad school is hard work. There were weeks I didn’t feel like writing poems and there were a lot of moments I questioned my decision to pursue my MFA. I spent a lot of time writing poems despite feeling shitty about my writing. This forced me to make writing a daily habit and use writing to push past the doubt and fear in my head. I’ve decided that you have to be fucking crazy to be in an MFA program, which is probably why I’m in it.

All of this being said, I feel really grateful to be in the program. My writing is changing and the classes are giving me the structure needed for me to experiment with my poetry and see what happens. I’m meeting a lot of people who are just as insane and weird as I am. Poetry will always feel like home.

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This winter break, I’m challenging myself by writing a poem a day. I’m excited to send some work out in a few weeks. I’ll also be doing a ton of reading (book list pictured above). Lastly, I’m putting together the finishing touches of Diary of a Filthy Woman, which will be out next year with Porkbelly Press. Tanya Gonzalez (pictured on the left), a Cleveland-based artist, is designing the cover, and I’m looking forward to that project becoming a reality.

I’ll update NPP again soon! Thanks for reading! 🙂

Noor Hindi

New Publication / What I’ve Been Reading

23231619_10210892534572828_4487469631888797034_nHi friends!

On the left is a photo of my friend Erin and I at the 2017 Winter Wheat Conference at Bowling Green State University. Huge shout out and THANK YOU to the Winter Wheat folks for putting on this amazing conference. We drove up there yesterday from Akron. I was happy to browse the book fair and attend two workshops, one about Sestinas and one about Writing Poetry in Turbulent Times. Guest reader Mary E. Weems’ presentation was beautiful and haunting. It’s so important to have conferences like Winter Wheat because they give you an opportunity to meet other writers and be part of  the literary community in a meaningful way.

I’m glad it’s finally November. I can’t believe the semester is almost over, time is flying by! Last Thursday, Flock Literary Journal posted the audio feature for my poem, “Why is Your Grandmother’s Name Jihad.” If you have a minute, you can check that out here. Be sure to purchase Flock’s migration issue. It’s stunning!

I’ve been keeping busy lately with lots of reading and writing. Here’s some collections I’ve been reading lately:

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There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce, Morgan Parker

Calling a Wolf a Wolf, Kaveh Akbar

Olio, Tyehimba Jess

Whereas, Layli Long Soldier

Night Sky With Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong

Look, Solmaz Sharif

Sleeping with the Dictionary, Harryette Mullen

I’ve also been enjoying Fasting for Ramadan by Kazim Ali

As always, thanks for reading! Here’s to surviving the end of the semester 🙂

~ Noor

Happy October!

22090130_10210638523502710_3410991014997333955_nOctober is (finally) here and I’m so grateful for the cooler weather in Akron, Ohio! Lately, I’ve been (happily) busy with writing poems for my classes and reading as much poetry as possible. I’m loving the NEOMFA program so far! Having time carved out to spend with poetry has been super refreshing and being around a community of writers helps keep me inspired.

Just this past Friday I had the chance to see Abraham Smith (Ashagalomancy, Action Books) and Hayan Charara (Something Sinister, Carnegie Mellon) read in Cleveland. I was happy to see Kazim Ali at the reading too and I was able to sit down with him afterwords and pick his brain. I rattled off about 10 questions in the span of five minutes and I’m so grateful for his kindness and patience with my questions!

I’m glad to kick off the month of October with a new poem up at Frontier Poetry. Publishing with Frontier has been a really great experience and they even took the time so write some nice words about my poem. Although there are no calls for submissions right now, please consider submitting to them when they do open submissions and giving them a shout out on social media! They also have a fabulous line up of poets, so give the journal a read when you have a chance.

I finally subscribed to POETRY Magazine and bought Kaveh Akbar’s new book Calling a Wolf a Wolf the other day. I also recently ordered two books from Kazim Ali including The Far Mosque (Alice James Books) and Fasting for Ramadan (Tupelo Press).

While I wait on those, here’s what I’ve been reading lately:

 

Inappropriate Sleepover, Meg Johnson

Boy with Thorn, Rickey Laurentiis

Something Sinister, Hayan Charara

21765155_10154773222216771_7473109661211328821_nLastly, if you’re close by, I have an upcoming reading with a few really amazing Ohio poets at Rodman Public Library on Saturday, October 21 at 2PM.

Here’s to a productive month of poetry and poems!

Until next time,

~ Noor